How do you connect with those that share your passions in an authentic, invigorating way? Attend a conference!
Tara and I have attended tons of conferences, as visitors, exhibitors, and speakers. Most of the time these events are within our fields of professional expertise (paleontology, writing, education).
Conferences provide such a great opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals while staying on top of what’s happening in the industry.
Travel Conferences for Women
In 2015 we decided to tackle travel conferences, attending both the Women in Travel Summit (WITS) and the Travel Bloggers Exchange (TBEX). Both of these provided really great introductions into the travel conference world. WITS in particular was a special experience for us, as it was geared specifically towards women.
In fact, we had such a great time that I decided to apply to be part of the PR/Marketing committee of WITS ’16. As travel conferences for women go, WITS is the first of its kind, and it’s been awesome to be part of it. The women involved in putting the conference on are truly special.
Tara and I are thrilled to be attending WITS ’16 in Irvine, CA, from March 18-20. As we gear up, I thought I’d take a moment to talk about why we’re so excited.
It’s not just for bloggers
A lot of conferences tend to be geared to industry professionals, but WITS is different. It has three clearly defined tracks that meet the needs of every attendee.
+ For those who are blogging regularly (or looking to start a blog), you can follow the blogger track.
+ Business owners can jump into the entrepreneur track.
+ Savvy, travel-loving women who want to know more about where to go, what to do, and tricks of the trade can follow the traveler track.
It’s an opportunity to meet a diverse group of women
When it comes to travel conferences for women, there’s something special about WITS. Being surrounded by energetic, driven women is invigorating. Throw a bunch of travel-obsessed ladies into a room together and magic happens. Ideas are generated, connections are forged, and friendships blossom.
There are women representing all shapes, sizes, ages, ethnicities, sexualities, belief systems, and income levels. There are women who love to bask in a luxury vacation, and others who would rather schlep it at an overcrowded hostel. Just about everyone is represented.
It’s a great time to be a women in travel, blogging, and business, and the ability to connect with others is awesome.
It’s an approachable way to network
I’ve talked extensively about the fact that I’m an introvert, and how that makes some things (like conferences) a bit overwhelming.
Luckily, WITS is not one of those huge, mega-conferences with thousands of attendees, and they’re super cognizant of the fact that some of their visitors are introverts.
This is a good thing! It takes some of the pressure off.
By offering the conference to 500 women, attendees are treated to an energetic, but intimate experience. It’s easier to meet people and harder to feel lost in the shuffle.
There’s a sense of community
Maybe it’s just me, but a lot of conferences I’ve attended seem hyper-focused on individual success and growth. That’s great and all, but what really stands out about WITS is that it provides a sense of helping one another succeed.
Instead of looking for a leg-up, participants at WITS ’15 were constantly offering to help others, offering unsolicited advice, stories, and recommendations. Everyone I met genuinely wanted to help.
The location is great
This year, WITS takes place in Irvine, California. This worked out perfectly for me and Tara, since we’re currently based only an hour away. It’s great news for all of the women out there, though, especially those looking to avoid the winter blues. Since WITS takes place in March, it’s the perfect time to head south for some SoCal sunshine.
And there’s tons to do in Irvine. Just take a look at their tourism page.
Will you be at WITS ’16?
We definitely will, and we hope to see you there! As travel conferences for women go, this is definitely top of the list. If you haven’t snagged your ticket yet, you can head on over to their website while they’re still available.